There are certain spices (fresh as well as dry) that compliment individual cuts of meat perfectly. Ginger, black peppercorn, cinnamon and cardamom are a few that work so well with lamb. I have used green as well as black cardamom for the dish. Personally I find a small amount of black cardamom adds that intense smoky flavour running through the dish.
The prep might seem long but garam masala is something once made and stocked can be used for any other curries too. There are a lot of variations on what goes into the garam masala powder, but to simplify things I have gone with cloves, cardamoms, peppercorn & cinnamon. If you do have any mace in stock you could add that to the garam masala powder mix. I think it can be a bit annoying to buy all the required ingredients and not have much use for them on a regular basis after you have made that one curry (I’m guilty of that too!). With the masala powder made and the meat marinated, it’s just a case of cooking the lamb. I also enjoy it with some steamed rice and crunchy onions on the side too. Topped with lemon juice, coriander & ginger juliennes it’s a dish I never tire of.
For the marinade whisk the yoghurt until smooth and mix in the ginger & garlic paste along with the turmeric powder. Add the lamb piece to the yoghurt mix and coat well to make sure all the pieces are covered in the marinade. Marinate for a couple of hour or overnight. Use a spice or coffee grinder and pound all the spices together for the garam masala and set aside.
Heat the oil in a heavy based pan, add the sliced onions and stir cooking for 8-10minutes until they softened and are golden brown in colour. Tip in the chopped tomato and cook for about 5-7 minutes until have softened. Add in the garam masala powder and cook for 2-3 minutes.
You will see the oil start to leave the sides of the pan, at this stage add the lamb pieces and stirring well fry and seal them on all sides, now add the marinade. Stirring continuously cook until the lamb is half done for about 10 minutes. You won’t really need any water at this stage as the lamb will cook in its juices and the marinade. If you do feel it’s too dry add about 50mls water. Add salt to taste
Simmer on a low heat for a further 30 minutes or until the lamb is tender and cooked all the way through. Stir half way through to avoid from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Serve sprinkled with lemon juice, chopped coriander, ginger juliennes and slit green chillies.